Summary: July 4th Sermon on Prayer.
Illustrate Humor: PRAYER’S BEST POSITION
Three ministers were talking about prayer in general and the appropriate and effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman was working on the phone system in the background.
One minister shared that he felt the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The second suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The third suggested that they both had it wrong--the only position worth its salt was to pray while stretched out flat on your face.
By this time the phone man couldn’t stay out of the conversation any longer. He interjected, "I found that the most powerful prayer I ever made was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, suspended forty feet above the ground."
Sermon Study 297 – DECLARATION OF DEPENDENCE
Prayer is a declaration of dependence for God - Prayer is a confession that we need God.
Results in Prayer, by Charles Stanley:
1. Personal, intimacy grows 2. Perspective changes God’s way 3. Positive attitude – faith 4. Peace 5. Purifying 6. Pathway to spiritual growth 7. Passion to obey 8. Provision 9. Power in service 10. Productive servant
Key Scripture: James 4:2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God.
WHOSE PRAYERS ARE HEARD?
1. The Sincere:
Quote: — John Bunyan “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.”
~ Mat 6:5 "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Mat 6:7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Mat 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
2. The Humble:
Dan Rather, CBS anchor, once asked Mother Teresa what she said during her prayers. She answered, "I listen." So Rather turned the question and asked, "Well then, what does God say?" To that Mother Teresa smiled with confidence and answered, "He listens".
~ Luke 18:10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ’God, I thank you that I am not like other men--robbers, evildoers, adulterers--or even like this tax collector. Luke 18:12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ Luke 18:13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ’God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ Luke 18:14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
3. The Righteous:
~ 1 Tim 2:8 I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.
~ James 5:16b The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
~ 1 Pet 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
WHICH PRAYERS ARE HEARD?
W. Graham Scroggie said, "Pray when you feel like it, when you don’t feel like it, pray until you do feel like it."
~ Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. Luke 18:3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ’Grant me justice against my adversary.’ Luke 18:4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ’Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, Luke 18:5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’" Luke 18:6 And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. Luke 18:7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
~ 1 Th 5:17 pray continually;
Humor: A young boy was observed by a minister in church praying very fervently; but much to the preacher’s surprise, he was also heard to say from time to time: "Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo." So preacher approached the boy after he had apparently finished his prayer and said, "Son, I was very pleased to see you praying so devoutly, but tell me, why did you keep saying ’Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo?"